A First Look at The 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S

There are motorcycles and then there are motorcycles. Harley-Davidson has always been known for creating some of the most impressive and ingenuitive motorcycles of their time, but they have completely outdone themselves with their new 2021 Sportster S. This motorcycle looks different than virtually anything else out there because it is different. Truth be told, even people that couldn’t care less about motorcycles are going to have their heads turned by this one. It simply doesn’t look like anything else on the market. For anyone that’s interested in a motorcycle that stands head and shoulders above the competition, this is the one to look at. There just isn’t anything else like it.

The Way It Looks

What makes this bike so different, so special? For starters, it doesn’t look like anything else out there. It has that same impressive, almost imposing Harley-Davidson silhouette that fans of these motorcycles have come to love over the years. That said, it doesn’t even look like anything that Harley-Davidson has produced in the past. At first glance, it’s obvious that this is a solid bike that can handle just about anything you decide to throw at it. If you want to compare its appearance to a living creature, you wouldn’t be remiss to say that it looks more like a stocky bull shark than a streamlined dolphin. However, that comment is made in the best possible manner. When you look at this bike, you know that you’re looking at something special, complete with its large, blacked out, pipes that run right the way through the bike from nose to tail. The black leather in the burnished metal finish off a look that tells you that this bike is something that you’re going to remember for the rest of your life, for all of the best reasons.

The Engine

The engine used for this motorcycle is the revolution Max, a 1255cc liquid-cooled powerhouse that is capable of producing enough foot-pounds of torque to send your spirit into the stratosphere (94 to be exact). The entire concept for this motorcycle is based on several Sportster bikes that Harley-Davidson has produced in the past, most of them entry-level motorcycles that were simply designed to get you hooked on riding. This one is entirely different. As such, it’s a rather big departure for Harley-Davidson and something of a risk as well. This is no longer an entry-level motorcycle, but something that is completely designed from one end to the other with performance in mind. Everything about it is geared toward getting the most performance possible. It’s rather interesting to note that even with all of these changes that are geared toward making the bike faster and more aggressive on the road, it still comes in at a relatively reasonable price tag of just under $15,000.


Some people have compared this motorcycle to one of Harley-Davidsons earlier creations, the FatTail Bob. However, there are a lot of variations that make this bike it’s very own machine indeed. For starters, the engine is actually mounted into the chassis in such a way that it becomes part of the structural component of the bike. As opposed to creating all of the structural components of the chassis and then finding a way to fit the engine into it, everything has been designed around the engine, with it serving as the focal point of the chassis itself. This provides a more integrated look. It also makes use of every square inch of space available. In addition, Harley-Davidson decided to use variable timing for this engine, something that increases its performance but also means that any time something is wrong with it, it will almost certainly have to be brought into a Harley-Davidson dealership in order to be repaired. There is no repairing this particular motorcycle in your garage or backyard, unless you just happen to be an expert with motorcycle engines in the first place.


One of the things about this motorcycle that sets it apart is the fact that it handles so well. It has specially designed suspension that allows it to function more like the suspension on a sedan than a motorcycle. The end result is a motorcycle that is comfortable to ride, even at long distances. It also handles extremely well, making it easy to steer through traffic, around corners or even in inclement weather, provided you are the type of rider to venture out in weather like that. Just like the engine itself, the handling on the bike is designed to be responsive, but not so much that it becomes difficult to control. In reality, Harley-Davidson has managed to do what many consider to be almost impossible- they have struck a harmonious balance between responsiveness and controllability, something that many motorcycle manufacturers struggle with on a daily basis. Typically, you have to sacrifice controllability for responsiveness or vice versa. It’s very rare that you find something that is able to respond as crisply and cleanly as this motorcycle does without becoming an absolute beast.

At the end of the day, this motorcycle may vaguely resemble the FatTail Bob, but really has very much come into its own. When you look at it closer, it becomes obvious that there are so many things about this motorcycle that are different from anything else ever produced by Harley-Davidson. It is no longer an entry-level bike, but something designed for people who genuinely love to ride. If you’re all about getting on a performance bike and taking it to its limits, you will love it. It’s designed differently than anything the company has ever produced before and while there are certain details that may hearken back to an earlier time, there really isn’t anything else like it on the market. If you’re looking for a high performance motorcycle that’s comfortable to ride on short distances and longer rides alike and you want to turn heads, this motorcycle should be at the top of your list when considering what to purchase next.

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